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and is too hard or too violent. -- afghanistan is to harder to bynum. hard or too violent. the murder rate in the united states in 1991 was -- there were 24,000 murders. the population is roughly two of its 60 million. last year in afghanistan, 2000 afghans died in the violence but the population of afghanistan was roughly 30 million. do the math. . .
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why did the afghans -- what is your view of the future? when americans ask this question, i am surprised only 17% said that. if u.s. afghans the same question, 40% had the view. but as a surprising answer, given that we're the most corrupt country in the world, but the reason afghans have this answer is because this looks like what we have lived through. each one of these would be devastating to a country, so
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even though we know all the problems, what is going on is better than the last -- then the past. almost none of the refugees have returned. refugees did not return to a place they do not think they have a future, and afghans do not think they have a future. many people, including girls, when asked if they have more freedom, 75% said yes. let's say we solve afghanistan given what i have said, there is still a problem with pakistan. if you take the death of benazir bhutto, who would have scored a
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landslide victory, you take the with the attack on the cricket team, this was a seismic event. you take the 17-year-old girl being flogged. you take the fact of 17,000 civilians have died this year, including 100 people to days ago. you take that and find that pakistani support for suicide bombing is cratering. the number has dropped to 5%, so the pakistani operations are now off going with the full support of the pakistani people. they cannot conduct a full war in their country against elements of their own
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population without the support of their population. the operation today is a real military operation. it has been successful. pakistan has changed. will they go after a kind of? who knows. what we are seeing in pakistan is the closest alignments between american objectives and pakistani is as close as it has been since 1979. the train has left the station, but advocates are also about doing less. or doing it leiter in various shapes and forms have to answer two things. we have basically done this
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twice. we have already closed our embassy in 1989 and washed our hands of it. we have already done the do it light option, which is basically a we got what we wanted tactically. the final point -- i think we can define down our objectives based on what the afghans want. the afghans do not necessarily what the legitimate government. they have not had much experience. the afghans are not expecting an altar a legitimate government. what they are expecting is security.
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the new obama of land should deliver that. when asked what is your principal concern, afghans recently said 34% that the principal concern was security, so the new plan can begin to deliver securities. why did the taliban come to power? the one good thing they delivered was security. this is a plan for real progress in afghanistan. thank you. [applause] >> let me repeat the words of thanks for everyone who came
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here, and i will get right at this. bruce and i were speaking as i came in and remembering in some form or another i have been engaged in or working in afghanistan for 27 years. i've probably read everything that comes out in the english language on the subject. i have recently traveled there and will again. i suppose i have become an expert. from the point of view of policy prescriptions, the more i know, the less i understand, and i must say in 1982 i had easy explanations for what the united
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states ought to do in afghanistan. afghanistan is a complex place. it is geopolitically complex -- its relationship with afghanistan and its southern neighbors heard the -- southern neighbors is almost impossible to fix or even describe. it is culturally and politically complex in ways that every time i lifted the place i found another level of social organization i did not know about before. in this complexity -- i am going to go to a recent development activist in afghanistan who said you cannot analyze it. you have to experience it to the point to develop intimacy,
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and in that intimacy, numbers are not often useful. it is just repeated experience and reflection. my experience brings me to a couple of memories, and one comes from of pop psychology both in the 1960 pasquale "games people play." 1 games people play is let's you and him fight. in my government experience, that was the essential game of the cold war. we fought five proxy's. afghanistan -- every time it is invaded, everytime it reacts, there is a complex game of lets you and him fight going on.
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in order to not be brought into it you have to develop into the sea. my sources for intimacy and understanding it -- to develop intimacy. my sources for intimacy and understanding it are a poet, a journalist, a development activist and a wanderer. the poll of rudyard complain -- tippling -- the poet rudyard kipling. he begins describing with some dismay of british determination that one has to be educated before you are regarded as qualified to face the phone, but then he describes a scrimmage and 2,000 pounds of
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education. a couple lines later, strike hard, who cares. the odds are on the cheaper man. then he points out one sword would pay all the school expenses. nevertheless, these people have moved to take off our mismates left and right. something we should be painfully reminiscent of is the team with the troops bringing us one by one at vast expense in time and space, and his last line is, the
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captains are cheap as we are der. my experience in government and in life supports that view that the odds are on the cheaper man. not an afghan experience but an early experience, and lots of military history reading has led me also to believe the odds are on the simpler plan. our 1980's involvement against the soviets definitely put me on the side of the cheaper man. it was very expensive, even then, for the soviets to support their people there. we have no requirement to recruit for train forces in
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afghanistan. at that time the hillsides teamed with hordes to flock to the flight. he clearly inherited the perfect flight, and our plan was simple and time-proven. it was to make movement so costly that they would pack up and leave. all we had to do was provide guns, ammunition, and a surprisingly small amount of cash. we did require health and had to operate an extensive supply line, but our challenges for simple compared to the soviets. we have been criticized for not
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picking up the more complex in of post-conflict development, and the result was afghanistan became further into chaos in which the taliban was the only option. they run security, and they managed to conquered through negotiations as they move through the country, and as ugly as it was, they did provide security and protection for the people. that is until they went away of recent political force in afghanistan. they became more rapacious, and the people of afghanistan welcome to us one we returned in 2001.
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i believe our failures since 2001 is less being diverted then it is being mired down in expense and complexity. in the very beginning, the game was played to our detriment. it was described in her vote how the appointment of the government was frustrated. the president of afghanistan had appointed who he believed to be the right man and certainly had the travel and military force behind them to take the job. u.s. special forces got engaged
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in appointing a rival because we lost this game. all he had to do was poised and called taliban to the other guy. our continued complexity and cost -- we need reform or transformation of pakistan in order to succeed. the soviets needed to transform afghan society to succeed. the taliban and our other enemies do not need to transform this society. right now, the leader of the government we're seeking is provided lukewarm support of our agenda. there is complain he is actively obstructing it.
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our plan depends on a long and expensive timeline. there is a number i have been trying to verify, but it is said long enough that it is a cultural truth that it costs $400 per gallon for every bit of fuel into a truck in cobble -- kabul. we have to maintain cooperation with nations that have mutual interests. pakistan has many reasons to believe our aims and bears are in conflict. not all the reasons are
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illegitimate. our efforts to develop a core of people who have the language, the cultural understanding that they cannot this intimacy, are being frustrated. we have been treated to a chairman of joint chiefs of staff review the service chiefs because they were unable to come up with 1/4 of the required 900 members of the envisioned afghan-pakistan of expertise. we are being tried place after place in afghanistan in a game of lets you and him fight. the minority is increasingly being led to believe or believes we are supporting a civil war. a visit to the cab in downtown
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kabul and walk around the embassy a would indicate it is a visible sign said we are on the other side. let me go back to my sources of intimacy and recommend to use their chase's book "punishment of virtue. she spent a good deal of her life in the last eight years -- the book centers on this incident i scribe -- i described, but she interweaves into it a well-written history
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that is well-organized, and based on her own research with original sources. a second really important understanding of the country can be gotten from the book, "hyo pm season, which details that he was involved as a subcontractor in 2004 and 2005 to offer alternative livelihoods. it gives a great view of the violence, and moreover, it shows the bureaucratic disfunction that is increasing the complexity and cost of our involvement, not as in war, but in development.
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a third source if you want to understand it is rory stewart', who within weeks of the fall of the taliban walked in winter, which is supposed to kill you, through villages, and described that experience in a way i think any diplomat or development expert must leave before he goes through attempts to understand afghanistan. in terms of policy descriptions, these three people who can be accused of an interim understanding, are not advocates of cut and run. their prescriptions are based on the requirement to buy securities for the people of
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afghanistan. sadly, that security must not only be from the taliban or warlords, but the security must be from done state we are seeking to events and stabilize. mi5 running out of time? ok, we do have a possibility for a more sustainable process that would not make afghanistan's civil or predictable it would merely be part of -- or predictable. it would merely be part of the strategy. u.s. allies would fund the strategy led by afghans themselves. we have to come up with the way to do that simply, and that has
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to be based on an intimate understanding of these folks so we can stop losing the game of let's you and i fight. looking forward for the next 18 months, i do not believe we ought to cut and run. if you were to ask me a few weeks ago, i would have fed get out. -- i would have said it out. i do believe we must transform ourselves we have to get somehow to the point where we can afford this involvement. holes in the united states indicate we have a limited time in which we can continue to invest. we have to address our structural problems and incumbencies -- incompetencies.
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there are army regulations with how to deal with contractors on the battlefield. the united states agency for international development no longer has any body or very few people who actually go out and run a project. everybody in iraq with a contractor. it is a well-executed program to regain its cost three or four times what it would cost if government employees were carrying it out. our own political system is not going to be changed in coming years, but it is one of the issues with which we have to struggle. i profoundly believe the president possibility to reformulate strategy in the last three months was hampered
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almost to the point of impossibility by the other side, failing never to pick up the cudgel that you and your campaign described this as the good war. they never fail to pick up the cudgel of not listening to your generals. i must say last administration was beat by the democratic party as it tried to formulate a policy. the partisan shot are not just unseemly. they are in irving. -- under irving. in the effort to reduce opium production in afghanistan, we are hampered by u.s. agricultural interests but will
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not let us promote the production of cotton. i am getting down to it now. two things we have got to address in order to simplify this -- i think we have got to solve this in a regional way. some opportunities are a rising. interestingly, our efforts to establish villages six through whose pakistan are creating new relationships that could be for the development in the region. i will go back to my original point of humility. as time goes on, i am less confident in my ability to provide policy descriptions.
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i can only say the ones we are trying to carry out now are far too costly to succeed in the time we have available. [applause] >> thank you very much. thank you for inviting me. i want to start with a disclaimer. i completely agree with frank. the more i learned from personal experience and the attempt to study afghanistan, the less i know, so with that in mind, i hope you will indulge me and perhaps listen to what i have to say. first, we are not dealing with a war. we are dealing with two awards. one no one really talks about.
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-- we are dealing with two wars, and one nobody talks about. one nobody talks about is the one fought right here within the beltway. this will have far more impact on whatever is happening in afghanistan then afghanistan itself. this war is fought on hysteria and terms that actually-reality on the ground in afghanistan. -- that actually-the reality on the ground in afghanistan, and it leaves too strange bedfellows as we see were the president has far more support with republicans then his own party. what is the search going to do? it is going to increase opposition to the war, as we
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have seen already, and not come within this country, but also within europe, where our allies are with us common and this gives us a limited time to do something, because we're going to see an increased number. we're going to see the images of body bags, and the number of deaths of afghans will paradoxically increase domestic terrorism, both in this country and in the west, because of moral outrage. i can only refer to what happened to months ago with major hassan killing people at
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fort hood, so the surgeon will a accelerate our withdrawal from afghanistan, especially by 2012 common because it is going to be a huge issue in the presidential election, and much of it will depend on what will happen in our election 10 months from now to see how much the democrats are going to lose in congress. scene of about washington, d.c. what about afghanistan itself? there are four issues, and they are not totally linked, and is afghanistan, pakistan, taliban, and outside of.
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i do not have time to get into pakistan, but it will probably depend on internal factors. in terms of afghanistan, let me repeat that we do not have any vital interest in afghanistan. we do not have any vital interest except domestic national security. that is why we are in afghanistan. we're looking closely to yemen. 10 years ago we would have been looking at the sudan, so you can see we do not have any vital interest in afghanistan itself except for domestic national security interests. that leads to the next question. what is the threat here in the united states and the west?
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i have done a survey of all of the al qaeda plots in the last 20 years since the creation of al qaeda. there has been no outsider insurgents as trumpeted three years ago even by some people on this panel. there have been only two lots with 2 al qaeda, and probably in new york -- two plots with links to al qaeda. there have been no attacks in the u.s. in nearly five years linked to al qaeda. nearly 80% are home grown without any relationship to any terrorist organization, and those that have some relationship to a terrorist
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organization, it is no longer al qaeda. it was our defense and now the fellow who tried to kill the cartoonist in denmark last week, the underwear bomber, and people are always afraid of north africa, so there are few afghans in al qaeda and almost no how can it in afghanistan. if we train the cloth that have a connection to afghanistan, non are traced back to afghanistan.
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those are traced back to terrorist groups. they all trade back to pakistan, so in order to actually promote national security, we need to focus on the group that can protect the west, and those are the groups i just mentioned. the afghan insurgents do not project to the west. they have a domestic agenda. what are our stated goals in afghanistan? to defeat outcry debt and its allies. this is mostly done for the destruction, so we have not defeated al qaeda. al qaeda is not dead as was
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shown last week by the killing of the cia officer. what is the surge going to do for the next 18 months it is going to depend on implementation, and it is going to very -- vary. some will be good, and those will be trumpeted in washington. those that are bad and will be trumpeted. what we really should be able to do is isolate the foreigners from the locals, especially the taliban. this is much easier than
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defeating the taliban. now that we are in afghanistan, what is our goal there? our goal is threefold, and they are all political. one is to provide security. second is to help develop a good government company and third, to stimulate their economy. in terms of security, i believe the surge will increase security, and perhaps it will temporarily prevent a civil war within afghanistan. in terms of good government -- what do i mean by good government? is administration to provide justice, something the taliban did fairly well, which is why i
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have some familiarity. the only faint they do not like the taliban, but they like the lack of corruption common -- corruption, so it is to provide justice and decrease the nepotism you find that is sterilizing any local initiatives. unfortunately for us, this is of to the afghans to do. we cannot impose our institutions from atop. from my own experience with the afghans, and i was in contact very intensively for three years -- you realize the limits of your car with them. you can really control them.
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you can see the limits of your influence on the afghan, so you can push them gently in that goal, so we have to be very cognizant of what we can do, because this is very much an afghan issue third, we have to stimulate the economy. that means they have to develop jobs and a sense of purpose. this is dependent on to leadership -- on good leadership, which is absurd. -- which is absent. this led me to go back and review what soviet policy was in afghanistan for 10 years. this has been bad mouth on this panel.
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i was intimately involved in running the war against the soviets for three years, so you do not have to underestimate your enemy. all whole point i am putting to you is we should not repeat their mistakes. we should learn from their mistakes. the soviets had an advantage. they were dealing with strong leadership of -- as soon as they got rid of the president. they did not have any pressure from domestic protests, because they did not tell the people how many people they lost until after the war. they were careful about that.
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they actually developed a fairly effective counterinsurgency doctrine after 1986. what they did is exactly what we're suggesting right now, which to me was a surprise, because it was fairly sophisticated. they were preaching national reconciliation and achieve quite a bit of success with it. they went from the countryside, providing security for the city's and roadways for much of the time they were there. i know because it was very frustrating. they encouraged and armed local militias to frustrate me and my colleagues of the time, and they
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were pretty good. they had a decent administration for dispensing justice for conflict resolution, and they built the roads. they built schools. they build factories. they build hospitals. that sounds really familiar. what did that give them? that gave them a decent interval of three years to the time it actually fell, and that interval lasted as long as the money and support brought from the soviets came. he cut it up, and it fell within months. how about international coalition? the war was very unpopular with the soviets.
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we do not have a superpower on the other side supporting the resistance. can you imagine what would happen right now if the taliban could shoot down their helicopters? it would be a disaster, and we have not killed as many as the soviets did. they earned tremendous on popularity, so what is going to happen in 18 months? we're going to withdraw mostly by 2012 because of the election. we will increase security in afghanistan, but the question is
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will the security be enough to allow the afghans to take responsibility for the future and develop their own country? that is the key issue. i am fairly pessimistic, because it depends on having harner, and i do not think we have it yet. karzai -- having legitimacy, and i do not think we have that. this will depend on achieving security, which i think is achievable, and with good government comes with our own money invested in jobs. without jobs, afghanistan will not be a positive scenario in the future, but i must conclude
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by pointing out that this is not going to affect our domestic national security, as we see with the last three plots. the underwear bomber came from nine cheerio region with -- came from nigeria. one of them came from somalia, and major hassan came from washington, d.c. thank you very much. [applause] >> peter has to leave at 11:00, so he should take the first few questions, and there is a microphone in the back of the room for anyone who would like
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to ask a question. >> i work 30 years of the journalists. i retired two years ago. my question is for peter. what i hear now is exactly what i was hearing before the iraq war, and the promise was saddam hussein was on popular.
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then we will have a democracy. now it is an islamic system. there is a hypothesis that afghan people love us. the last point i want to make -- i am told the other speaker was comparing our server in -- our presence in afghanistan sues soviet presence in afghanistan. -- afghanistan to soviet presence in afghanistan. i was born in india. they built roads, schools, colleges, and sent indians to britain for education.
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>> what is the question? >> my question is are we not doing the same thing? believing their own presence, i have been to pakistan twice since last three years. we fought in the 1980's -- >> thank you. are we making the same mistakes as the soviets or rise in iraq? the difference between the soviet occupation and american and the other countries involved in the effort in afghanistan is like night and day.
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a missing it is important to remember one-and-a-half% were killed. it was the largest refugee population in history. it was also the most heavily- -- mined country in the world. the answer to are they similar, i say the answer is great interest to policy makers and everyone else in the country. the about the iraq surge, which i personally oppose along with probably everybody else on this panel was doubling down on the fact that part of why i oppose this is what was going on in iraq. it went into probably the
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nastiest civil war in recent modern history. the minister of fallen interior was essentially a sheehan death squad. no matter how bad the situation is, it is not in a civil war. this surge is going into a much better situation than in iraq, and americans do not care -- let me phrase that. americans are much more casual than most people suspect. a professor of duke university did a lot of work on this. what americans do not like is losing. when there was losing in iraq, it was unpopular. it seems to be stabilizing. if the surge brings more security, the casualties that
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come with that are going to be dealt with in way that politically will be handled. the worst month in the war were six months after the surge when 150 americans were being killed every month. of the situation stabilizes, the political a steam change, and i think you will see the same thing in afghanistan. >> i am susan. this is a question for bruce. >> go-ahead. >> are you concerned that this recent focus on yemen will result in dwindling support for the war in afghanistan,
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especially here on capitol hill? i would also be interested to hear how you assess the threat from yemen and what you think is correct u.s. military action there. >> anybody who wants direct military action in niemen needs their head examined. we have enough on our plates as it is. we do not need a third war. we have enough on our plate. we do not need a third war vary and the experience of foreign armies, most recently the egyptians, ought to be one that cautions anybody who thinks this is america's solution. outside in the arabian peninsula has become a more dangerous foe.
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they have said it was at the direction of osama bin laden. the al qaeda cells, which had been effectively repressed, merged with the al qaeda cells in yemen. it proved to be a smart strategic move. they seem to have benefited from the reaction between the two. they seem to have found a clever bomb maker. they may have failed in the attempts. i would not bet onw3 them failig every time. if that bomb had gone off properly, we would have had a catastrophic incident. the president quite rightly put it -- we dodged the bullet. i think he knows something even
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more important. the dodge a catastrophic:. we will have to apply a reasonable amount of effort to try to assist a week harner to focus on how high that in the arabian peninsula. we should have no illusions about his partner. his enthusiasm is very limited. he has a lot on his plate, but if we give him the support, if we help yemen, if we provide intelligence report, it can be brought under control. we have to make every effort to do so. the larger question is should it be diverted to yemen. i think we have come down on the
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same bottom-line. the most dangerous threat has originated from pakistan. the attempt to down multiple plainsman was originated in pakistan. the reality is we are at war with afghanistan. we cannot go back and redo this war of the right way. we are in its now. what happens in that war will have a tremendous impact across the border, which is a more strategic prize in this conflict. >> i have both western. as we heard in the media, most
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of the areas do not get benefit from reconstruction or economic development, and also i read one of the reports. the only one person went to the university, so if this continues this will be to the benefit of al qaeda. what can we do to transform that, to separate people who feel they are marginalized in the government to include them in this process of security, economic development, and good government? thank you. >> one thing afghanistan last is political parties. you are stuck with a choice of karzai or the taliban, and my understanding is karzai is not
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encouraged, so perhaps you will have political parties that the merged -- dodi merge the represent an alternative. -- that the merged -- emerge that represent the alternative. i think the most important thing we can deliver is security, and let me give you one benchmark. the route was the most dangerous in the world for three years. you were likely to be killed if you drove down it, and the fact that it was the most dangerous in the world said everything he needed to know. i have taken the road many times it went down to about
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seven hours. i could drive the road without incident. anybody would say you were effectively signing your own death warrant. it would be great if it were returned to a road that could really be used, and that as a sign of real progress. that road connecting the pashtun capital to the national capital, and that is something we can deliver. >> do you mind if i asked a question. how would you describe vital interest in the afghanistan in response to what he was arguing? >> there were 200 members of
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outcry on 9-11, so small numbers of people can affect history greatly. we are talking about palestine without talking about israel -- we may say there is a border between afghanistan and pakistan, but none of the people we are talking about do. the afghan and taliban do not recognize the border. the islamic jihad union does not recognize the border. the border does not exist, so to talk about it without reference to the fact of all these groups are in afghanistan i think is not right, and the 82nd airborne is not about to invade pakistan.
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given that fact, what we're doing is a strategy so they do not also take over afghanistan. we know what a vacuum in afghanistan produces, so that is what we're trying to do. we're also trying to affect what happens in pakistan, and these are interrelated. the question of those al qaeda threaten us or not, it is not the number of attacks. 9-11 was the biggest terrorist attack in history. and there was the deadliest attack in british history. if the northwest flight had worked out, that would have
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basically closedown the american economy in the nastiest recession since the great depression. major hassan killed 13 people. it is not a national security problem. in the post 9-11 world, i think it looks bigger.
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>> just cheer a lot. >> good afternoon, everybody. we're very honored, appreciative that ambassador holbrooke would take some time off from his duties on the other side of the town and the other side of the world to spend an hour with us this afternoon talking about policy in afghanistan and pakistan. there are never boring moments in his life. there certainly hasn't been any in the course of the period that he's had -- there you go. that was a favor that i was doing you. you could use a little more. of course, this is a particularly busy week and a particularly difficult week. ambassador holbrooke has got a number of members of his terrific interagency team with him here. and one of the very promising
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and productive aspects of the way he's going in which the interagency process works together. we're glad you have some of your team here. i know a number of the team lost some friends as a result of the terrible suicide bombings in afghanistan. that's one of several notes in a minor key that we have to take account of. i thought maybe, richard, if it was okay, we'd start what we hope will be an open and lively discussion here just by giving you a chance to tell the group what you think among all of the issues that are out there are the most important ones. and what are the two or three subjects on which you think that we and, therefore you, are going to be most concentrated on particularly during the period immediately ahead? >> thanks, strobe. thank you for inviting me.
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full confession, the man to my right is one of my closest friends ends most severe critics. if you sense a rapport between us, we've been friends since 1978. >> same can be said in the other direction. >> it's just a great pleasure to be introduced by strobe. knows strobe, you know i will not diminish in one iota his intense interrogatory style. i sense so many of my friends. i'm grateful to see you all. i want to acknowledge when i first met in the johnson administration who was secretary of the army and great figure in the national security history. i won't acknowledge anyone else in the room. but i see tons of people i work with. my own team, i only brought a few people today, strobe, but
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since you mention them, i should mention on the wall there is roman who is our ngo outreach. i want to start with him. i think we're the only office with the building withs own ngo. there are 1,000ngo's working in afghanistan and pakistan. not counting local. there was no road map. there was nothing to tell us what they did. roman is doing a cross hatch computerization and we are reaching out to ngos. for example, water is a huge issue in both countries. he will be able to tell us which ngos in the united states work on water, which are working in afghanistan and pakistan and so on. so next to him, ashley boomer, who's been with me now for a decade. and has been in the current capacity a specializing on the all important issue of
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communications and counterpropaganda. this war is a war of information. and it is always been most extraordinary to me the that area is where the world's most -- the world's leading communication nation, the united states, has been at least until recently outcommunicated by mass murdered living in the most remote areas of afghanistan and pakistan. and we have to take the public information space back from the enemy in order to succeed. and ashley is pioneered such creative ideas as using cell phone technology and such obviously ideas as countering their abuse of low wattage fm station to say terrible lies. next to her, is valley nee 15. he came to us from and has just
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written another one of the wonderful books. he was working on pakistan for us and not on iran, since that always appeared in the blogs inaccurately. i think we are missing someone. tim who came to us from afghanistan. a representing the future of the foreign service. we have a whole lot of other people in the back there, including in the department, from nine other agent sis plus the state department. strobe, what i'd like to say, the most common question i get in when i walk down the street or run into people is the most valid. why are we in afghanistan? that's a fair question to ask in
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a situation as complicated and difficult as this. this is not an easy situation. a year ago barack obama inherited the situation. and he faced several choices. so we went through a complicated policy review. which some of you in this room contributed to. and one person this this room led, bruce riedel. he was the chair and i was the cochair. and i thank bruce again here in the front row. i thank bruce again for his response to president obama's call which came on the third day of the administration. and bruce gave us 60 days. i thank strobe for lending him to us. and we concluded quite simply that america's basic national security interest were at stake in these two countries. this was not enough where the vietnam posed no direct threat to the american homeland.
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it was not iraq, where saddam hussein had attacks on our countries, including pakistan itself has been planned. the people out there said they would do it again, very clearly, as the near miss on christmas day demonstrates. in fact, this particular person was not trained, and pakistan does not change the fact that the inspiration for all of this comes from al qaeda and al qaeda's leadership is based in the remotest areas on the afghanistan/pakistan border. so we concluded without any dissent that this was a national security issue. we could not walk away from it. the second question was therefore, what do we do about it? the answer has been laid out in a serious of speeches and public states by president obama march 27th and december of last year
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were the two major statements. but there's been many others. i've been out there saying, the military has, hillary clinton, bob gates, vice president biden. the press reported special discussions in which people put forward a variety of views both in february, march, and again in the extraordinary intense policy review process which i participated in august which came to culmination. so let me be very clear on this. having served every democrat president from washington during the white house in the senior state department. it is when you don't have discussions of a range of options in the room that you should ask questions. and it was to the enormous credit of this administration and to president obama that every view that y'all in this room are likely to hold was put forward inside the windowless
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room in the basement of the white house. so the president had the full range of views as he set forward first in march and february to send 21,000 troops, including 4,000 training troops. and then in december when he allowanced -- announced 40,000 more. it is the part the press is focused on. it's not the part i'm directly responsible for. i made inpotents that discussion. but our job is the civilian side of the war. from communications to agricultural from rule of law to subnational governance. to education and health. and that's what we do. plus the diplomatic side of things. i want to underscore that we are there because our national interest are at stake. we know how difficult it is. and our allies in the region now how difficult it is. i have toured now every single
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country in the region even and outside the region that might be affected expect your three favorite, turkmenistan, tay vehicle stan, and which i will go in the next month. without exception, every country agrees on what's happening in afghanistan is a direct vital strategic interest to them as well. i need to underscore that from beijing to moscow and abu dhabi and including all of the states in the gcc all agree that stability in afghanistan and pakistan is critical in a strategic sense. so we conclude as well that what happens there is not just vital to our own homeland security, it's also vital to an extraordinary large range of countries which includes the two
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most populous countries in the world, it includes russia and the world's largest oil areas, and a whole range of other issues. and there are obviously implications for other problems we face to the east. and in iran and in regard to the arab israeli issues. so the 30,000 troops that started to deploy, on the civilian side, we build up rapidly last year. i want to underscore again on behalf of the department of state and secretary of state that when we came in office, there were 300 civilians. not a lot, considering the importance of the country. when i was ambassador of germany, there were 2500 people. we had 300 civilians in afghanistan. we tripled it last year. and that growth will continue as the troops build up.
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we are working out the details now. we're working closely with deputy secretary of state jack jack lew. there will be a big build up. the new administrator is being sworn in. and he and i are already collaborates. collaborates. we will have a h@@@@@ @ @ nr@ @
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since time is limited, i'd like to go where you and your audience would like to take us. i do want to stress that we really are committed to a successful outcome here. our international security is clearly at stake. >> thank you, richard. i think i'll put two questions to you and open it up to the group. one has to do with the mid 2011 deadline. how we should understand that? what is means in practical terms? the second is about pakistan. you eluded to it here and
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stressed it in the past, the importance of pakistan peace of your assignment. mike and several of his colleagues had the latest in the "new york times" other the weekend, which the bottom line the situation is worst off there both in terms of the welfare of the pakistani people and also in terms of our interest. maybe you can give us your own assessment on that? >> the president announced we would add 30,000 troops. he also said that he would begin a withdraw of some of the combat troops in july of 2011. and later on in the speech, in a phrase that did not get adequate attention, he used the words a responsible transition of security responsibility to the afghan police and army. that is the key to the speech. that's the key to the policy.
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the domestic considerations are no secret to any of you. but i'm not going to comment on those. i'm here to represent our foreign policy, not our domestic political issues. but you are all aware of the controversies that of surround the policy. the president believes that the -- and by the way, there will be a review of all of this in december of this year. which he also mentioned this this speech. the president believes that we need to put more emphasis on afghanistan self-reliance and that in 18 months we need to show tangible, visible progress towards a transition for afghanistan taking over responsibility for the themselves. not across the country. i left for europe while the president was speaking on december 1. and landed in brussels after -- just after he spoke. and the europeans had been, of
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course, with the time difference they had not heard the speech. and the headlines misportrayed the speech right at the beginning. and said withdraw in 2011. but that was -- and that misunderstanding may have perpetuated here to some extent by people, either in innocence or deliberately misconstrued in the peach. some public speechers questioned it, but they misrepresented. the president made clear that we are not abandoning afghanistan. this is a strategy to work, create the time and space during which they can improve their own about for governance. that was discussed at length with president karzai and with his cabinet on numerous occasions, notably with the trip that hillary clinton and i had made to afghanistan on october
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18 and 19 in conjunction with the inauguration. the afghans understood this, they are very comfortable with it. so i need to underscore that's what july 2011 means. not a withdraw, but the start of a responsibility transition in which american combat troops will begin to draw down. on the second question and in regard to pakistan, i'm not sure quite how you phrase it. strobe, you made a generic comment? >> mike hamlin and his colleagues have put together a set of bench marks on sort of how things are going. and the trend that they feel they have identified in pakistan is ominous, negative by comparison with a year ago. >> yeah. i read mike's monthly, it's quarterly, actually, isn't it? i read mike's quarterly table with great interest.
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and it helped -- influenced me a lot as we tried to develop our own benchmarks. but i think we have to be very careful about two things. maybe three things. one, let's not confuse input and output. it's a very common problem that i've seen in most of the -- in every war that i've been involved in. let's not confuse the number of cell phones to take one of michael's criteria with how the war is going. let's not minimize the importance of it. cell phone penetration is a hugely important issue and a very positive indicator for social and economic development in afghanistan. but it does not -- and pakistan. but it does not tell you how the war is going. i live through this in a distant war in another century and i'm very hard over on the fact that we often confuse input and
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output. i know you don't disagree with this. now back to strobe's question. how are we going in pakistan? it's a very come preindicated issue. i want to start by saying it's not how we are doing at all. this is their country. not our country. and the question is how is pakistan doing? and i've now been to pakistan six times, i think, last year. and at least, and i'm going back next week. all i can say that we knew from the beginning that what happened was important to the region. and we approaches pakistan with great respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity and the enormous complexities of what it faces. economically, socially, politically, and strategyically on both of the major borders.
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and if you look at pakistan during the last year, you can construct two different models. but from our point of view, we saw the pakistani military go into swat, do great damage to the insurgence, collaborate and cooperate with the american military and some -- in some information sharing activities which produced beneficial results. but i want to underscore no american troops in pakistan. we do not do fighting in pakistan. and we -- and then they went into south wariristan. there was an enormous refugee problem. they led the response with
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hundreds of millions of dollars. we were the first out of the box. there was then a controversy of some of the requirements in pakistan. i think that was explained very well by secretary clinton during her trip. and the country went through some political dramas which were internal to pakistan, but which we watched with concern and sympathy. at the of end of the year, pakistan is in the position today with the united states looking for any way to support their government and their people.
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very heavy influence on the trip on supporting pakistan, on where the needs are greatest which are energy and water and other major economic issues. the largest muslim city had about 4 hours of the electricity of the day during the worst of the summer months. we want to do things to help address that problem. we've sent some of our very finest members of the administration out there, notably david lip pton to help work. on water, we're looking for more ways to help. water is not only a big problem, but you know it's going to be become and more and more serious problem. pakistan has a long and complicated history with the united states. which people like this, riedel have lived through. and we will continue to work with pakistan as a friend and an
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ally and with great understanding and support for the utter complexity of what they are going through. but i to in -- but i do not expect the core peoples of the question that the situation is worst today. the situation is what it is today, and not worse. pakistan is working it's way through a series of issues which are for them to decide on their own. >> thank you. we'll open it up. martin? and wait for the mic and identify yourself for the very few who don't know who you are. >> martin from the foreign policy program and brookings. ambassador holbrooke, india. some would say that unless you bring india into the picture and find a way to resolve the indian/pakistani differences as
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deep adds they are, it's going to be impossible to make progress in pakistan or afghanistan. i wonder how you would react to that. >> well, first of all, martin, i think everybody who knows the history knew certainly among them knows than india and pakistan have a unique interrelationship that goes back to the independence of the two countries. and we have to respect that. we can write books about it. but in the end, it is a fact of history. and we -- and my job does not include india. i'm a special representative for afghanistan and pakistan. there was a misunderstanding of this. i never sought to be the representative or on say for --
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envoy of india. we have aeried wide range of relationships would not under any circumstances involve me. the secretary state for south and central asia, bob blake and our almost a year in new delhi does that. having said that, i keep the indians fully informed of my activities on a regular basis through the ambassador here in washington, she and i see each other frequently, and through recurring trips to india. everyone understands that india have a concern what happens. but i am not negotiating issues between i. ya and pakistan. that's not my job. nor is it something that would be productive if i were to undertake it. but i cannot stress highly
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enough that we -- that the indian relationship is important to the u.s., the pakistan relationship is important to the u.s. and there is -- and in my view, the argument that we favor one country over the other is a legacy of the past. i do not believe it is justified by the policies we are taking right now. :
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targeting the militants on their own land, but not the ones operating in afghanistan, particularly the hapani group. thank you very much. >> on your first question concerning -- you say the remarks of the u.n. ambassador, did you say? >> yes. >> i think you were referring to the senior u.n. representative, is that correct? >> yes. >> yes. actually, ky was in this morning to see secretary clinton and me and we had a very good talk, you nope, his tour is coming to an end and he came in for some formal talks, and we discussed this issue. i don't know exactly what remarks you're referring to, but there isn't any question that the -- that our policy has to include an opportunity for those people fighting with the taliban who are not members of al qaeda, to rejoin the political process.
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i would estimate, bruce and i spent a lot of time talking about this at the beginning of last year, i would estimate that 60 or 70 or more percent of those people fighting with the taliban are not ideologically supportive of al qaeda at all, and are not necessarily supportive of the taliban supreme leadership. but they fight for various reasons. they're misled about the nature of our presence there, through the propaganda that i mentioned earlier. they have sense of injustice or personal grievances. or they fight because it's part of the of a began tradition that you fight outsiders, and they may have the isaf-nato u.s. presence con flated with earlier historical events, some of whiã@
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outspoken. one of them wrote a best selling book about his experiences with the taliban. so this is critically important. this program used to exist on paper, and it was not very successful. about three weeks ago, the "washington post" wrote a superb front page piece on five taliban who decided to. come in from the cold, and got
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no support. now they feel like they're trapped in a no man's land. we cannot allow this to happen. when ashley and i visited kos province a year and a half ago as private citizens, we met with five young people who told us the same story, ex-taliban, so president karzai in his inaugural speech on november 19th laid out a policy proposal and we are focused very much on this, and i think david petraeus, stan mcchrystal and i would all say that this is one of the most important areas that needs to be addressed, because nobody believes that the outcome of this war will end with a complete demolishment or killing everybody who fights with the taliban. that's neither possible nor necessary.
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and -- for is it in the nature of this kind of war. it won't end on the deck of a battleship, and it won't end in a military base in dayton, ohio. this is a different kind of war. and this issue, i'm spending a lot of time on this question because it's so high on our personal priority list. this issue is one of the big things that has to emerge. why didn't it emerge last year? because we were -- because the election process was so complicated and so intense and involved the same participants that it was -- that we were not able to get this program resurrected and straightened out and funded right away. and -- but we identified this in the report, that bruce and i and our colleagues did. and i thank you for raising that. >> the election though, of course -- >> i'm sorry, go ahead.
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>> -- was accompanied by massive fraud. and produced a president and a presidency that are highly discredited and tarnished both domestically and around the world. how do you deal with that as yet another albatross around the neck of the policy? >> this election was in the words of president obama, messy. it was well in advance of the election and every i want view that i gave, -- interview that i gave, i said this is going to be an imperfect election very few countries would have even attempted an election under these conditions with the enemy in the middle of a war, with the taliban saying that they would cut off the finger of any one who had purple ink on it, that being the mark of a person who had voted. and -- so the fact that it was messy is not surprising. the -- having said that,
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hamid karzai is the legitimately elected president of the country and we will deal with harriet miers and his government, -- him and his government, which has plenty good people in it. it is a government we can work with. i should be careful about that, because not all his cabinet members have been confirmed yet, but among the ones confirmed have been some excellent ministers, who we're very comfortable working with, and we are well aware of the fact that this election wasn't perfect and we worked closely with ndi and iri and the european union observers, and i hope future elections will be better, but this was the -- this is the first really contested election in the country, there had opinion one five years -- been one five years ago, but not like this and under most difficult circumstances. secretary clinton said publicly during her trip, that it was astonishing that they attempted
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it at all, but we will work with the karzai government as a legitimate government and we look forward to continuing that and we look forward to improvements in the relationship. >> yes, sir? >> mr. ambassador, happy new year. i know you have a very difficult job and you cannot make everybody happy. my question is that as problems in afghanistan is concerned, it has been going on for over 20 years and we don't know how long it will continue. but in the report by general secretary of the united nations that you cannot win this war unless you enroll afghan people, and now, -- now what he's saying, i don't know whether you are listening to him or not, the same people, the afghan people
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are important to enroll in this war, and another -- just to followup is, as far as the future of afghanistan is concerned also, i think neighbors are important, like india, like you said, your job is not to get involved in india, but india can play, i think, a major role in reconstruction or involved in the people in afghanistan, so where do we go from here, as far as the future of afghanistan is concerned? >> well, i'm glad you mentioned the 30 years of war, because i don't want to tell you something you all know, but it needs to be underscored. very few countries in the world have undergone such a trauma as afghanistan has since december of 1978, and there's real -- this really is extraordinary. i can think of a few countries have been hit like this. maybe cambodia, but this is
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extraordinary, and the society was really damaged. he mentioned agriculture at the beginning. afghanistan was a big agricultural exporting company, with india as a prime market. a month ago, the afghans with great fanfare shipped by airplane 12 tons of apples, they're famous for their apples, to india, as a way of resurrecting their once vibrant export markets and that's why we're putting so much attention on agriculture. so in answer to your question, my friend, we really are listening to the afghans. not just on agricultural, that is our primary non-security issue, but on everything. one of the things we found when we took office a year ago, was that only 10% of american aid to
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afghanistan and pakistan went through the government, 10%, so we were undermining the very governments that it was our professed goal to strengthen. and a rot of -- and most of the rest of the aid went through these contractors, those of you who saw what hillary clinton said yesterday, in a development speech, i see hattie nodding, you saw the hard shot she took at contractors. well, one of my instructions from the president and the secretary of state is to reduce the contractors, but aid ain't what it was when you were there. it's as she said yesterday, there are four engineers left. in the water area. so we need to do two things simultaneously. we need to force more of our aid through the governments, and we need to reduce the contractors. this is not easy for many reasons. one is, oversight. the congress wants to be sure the money isn't wasted or
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disappears into people's pockets. the second is the infrastructure of the aid and i mentioned the shah earlier. we have talked about this, it's going to be one of his main missions, i have no doubt this is being discussed right now at the swearing in in the ronald reagan building. and number three problems is just moving this thing around with congressional oversight. so -- but we understand what you're saying. i don't know the exact quotes your friend said. on the other issue you raise, the neighbors, i'm not sure exactly what you have in mind, but every one of the neighbors has a role to play here in the stabilization and demilitarization ultimately of afghanistan. and i say everyone, i mean every one of the neighbors and if you look at a map, afghanistan has a lot of neighbors. i mean, bordering neighbors.
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you mentioned india. india doesn't have a common border with afghanistan. but i'm talking about just the countries that have direct boreters next to them. >> trued distribution centers? clear clear clear clier >> trudy rubin, the philadelphia enquirer. mr. ambassador, when the swat fighting was going on, initially there was some talk o of chinook diplomacy coming in, like in 2005, which was so successful in changing pakistani ideas. the pakistani army rejected that. i was recently in s.w.a.t., and although the pakistani army talks about building schools, a lot of collateral damage was done, its civilian government is doing nothing so far. the army is hard pressed and doesn't know how to cooperate with the public, so my question is, how do we effectively use
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a -- the aid we put into s.w.a.t. was mainly humanitarian, where we took the lead. how do we take all of this new civilian aid and make it effective, especially when there is such paranoia in pakistan, that the idea of new aid officials coming into oversee this new aid has been billed in the newspapers as an invasion of blackwater? >> gee, thanks, trudy? that was really helpful. that's -- you know, let's start with the chinook diplomacy, and the 2005 earthquake. it is true that american poll numbers went up after the earthquake, but they went right back down again. so let's not get-goy eyed about what happened. what the bush administration did with the earthquake was a
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terrific thing and in of its own right and it's one of the things that they should be given vast credit for. when it came to s.w.a.t., we had a different situation. it wasn't a man made disaster. excuse me, it wasn't a natural disaster, it was a military operation in a very sensitive area. we worked very closely with general niem and his colleagues, i met with them, i went out to the area myself several times, we have a refugee person on our staff who is working on these issues. we share your concern that not enough has been done in the reconstruction phase. i'll be returning to the issue next week. and we contributed, as i said earlier, the overwhelmingly the largest single contributions to work on this and you mentioned helicopters. the pakistanis asked us for helicopters, they weren't chinooks, they asked us for a
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different sort of helicopter, it wasn't on our inventory. president obama got involved in this. we joked that he had become the chief helicopter procurement officer of the united states, b#%@ @ @ @ @ @
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u.s., i believe it's better today than it was a year ago and i believe a lot of the data, most of the data supports that. at the same time it will take time to rebuild the relationship. the last decade was a complicated one. for u.s.-pakistan relations. as a matter of fact, every decade is complicated. >> good afternoon, ambassador. i'm bob dreyfuss with the nation magazine. isn't it true that the -- you didn't answer the gentleman's question earlier, but isn't it true that the pakistani military and i.s.i. is still to this day giving significant support to the very enemies that we're fighting, the taliban, hakani, and that if we squeeze them too hard on this, that they could
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cut off our ability to supply our forces logistically, so we're kind of hostage to the taliban's main supporter, which we depend on in order to supply our forces in afghanistan? isn't that the central paradox you're facing? >> i apologize for not responding to the question earlier. it was inadvertent. this is -- this is of course a much debated question, bob. and all i can say is you're welcome to your interpretations of what happens. but i do not believe we are hostage, as you put it. it is true that well over 50% of our supplies in afghanistan come in over the kyber pass and that's a difficult piece of logistical resupply. the longest resupply in the history of the united states military, and it is -- and i've sat down with the
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logisticcations, the low -- the logistics officers in the field, but i don't see the hostage issue. as for the question of hakani, we are deeply concerned about the activities of these groups. the hakani straddles the border, and is responsible for some of the most serious events that take the lives and injure american and allied forces. there's no question about that. and we have discussed this, and looked for ways to deal with it. and i see signs of movement forward, but i think with all respect to all of you, that continued discussion of this issue in public works against the goal, which i know all of you share. in this room, which is a
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reduction in the risk to the american forces in afghanistan. >> and i might add, and our allies, speaking of which, we have the danish and the georgian ambassador and the danish ambassador has a question. >> you mentioned the neighboring countries, they play an important roam. my question is how the process is that are developing in and around iran, is affecting or maybe affect being the stronger role refrequented -- >> how the process is what, sir? >> developing in iran and -- >> oh, in iran. >> and the afghanistan domestic-political situation. >> first of all, before i answer your question, since you're from georgia, i do want to acknowledge the battalion that's being trained now there. it is a matter of fact, which i doubt many people in the room will realize, that when that
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battalion arrives in afghanistan in march, it will bring to 950, the number of georgian troops in the country, which on a per capita basis, will make georgia the largest single troop contributor of afghanistan. until the u.s. reaches its peak of 100,000 and then georgia and the u.s. will be the top two, and i should acknowledge that, and i should acknowledge the president of georgia's personal role in that and all the georgian people and look forward to going there to visit the troops before they leave, but we should all recognize this, because georgia's own history, particularly in the last year and a half, has been so extraordinary and they've made this commitment. without any request for anything in return, there's no quid pro quos here, they wanted to help, they saw the regional connections. secondly, in regard to your question about iran, when i said all the neighbors before, i
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obviously included all the neighbors. the iranians have a role to play in the region. and no one denies it, and at least no one in this administration denies it or questions it, but it is embedded within our other disagreements with iran, which are very serious and of involve issues that i don't work on directly. the iranians were helpful in 2001-2002, as is well known, and jim dobbins has written a part of a book on this, in creating the current government. the iranians participate in regional forum. we do not object to that. when the iranian foreign minister came to the japanese pledging conference for pakistan, i mentioned earlier, and iran pledged $330 million to pakistan, or the western japanese conference, we didn't object to that at all.
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and we were very mindful of this. the iranians also have a very serious concern over drugs. they have one of the largest percentage addiction rates in adult population in the world. and you all know where those drugs come from. and -- so all these issues are on the table. but they are embedded within a larger relationship between iran and the rest of the world, which is of enormous consequence, and so we deal with it within that framework. the other neighbors, the other neighbors i've already addressed in groups. i'm not going to take time to discuss them individually, but again, i say that with the exception of the three stans, which we're about to visit, i've gone to everyone and i've talked to all of their leaders in new york during the general assembly and there is a strategic
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parallelism or symmetry in the fact that everybody is concerned about the risk of instability in the area, and when i say everybody, i mean all the neighbors. >> yes? >> hello, i'm elaine, with foreign aid through education. and i'm very glad to hear about agriculture being the keystone to development and economic security. for afghanistan. and to that particular point, as we're looking at more hopefully of ngo's delivering programs and working with the of afghans, building within the afghan community, i'd like to mention, there was an interesting "washington post" op-ed piece back in mid november, glen hubbard, the dean of columbia's business school, was reflecting
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on the funding for pakistan and i assume it has the same thing to do also with pakistan, in terms of models of delivery of programs to support successful economic development. and he harkened back to the successful model of the marshal plan, not suggesting to do a marshal plan per se, but rather to look at the model of how things could be altered and delivered for truly sustainable economic development. how are your plans moving and are they moving in that direction? >> you know what? on my trips to pakistan, i always tried to meet a society and the crit s. of the way we gave fine assistance in pakistan was really harsh. i am particularly in your field, education, they felt they hadn't been consulted but at the higher
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education and the secondary education level and i talked to some extraordinary, brilliant, pakistani leaders, both in the ngo world and the ministries about this, and we sent robin raffel, who most of you must know, former assistant secretary for south asia, out there and she is now our chief of operations, in islamabad, and she is -- i'm not going to say she's fixed the problem, i'm not going to say she will fix it completely, but i will say that the people working in these fields and education is very high on our list in pakistan, are much, much more comfortable now. we spend a lot of money on education, and as hillary clinton said yesterday, in that public statement, when she went to pakistan, she didn't actually name pakistan, but the reference in the -- as i listened to her, i thought she was referring to our trip. she said, -- she said, people
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say to me, you say you give us all this money, we've never seen any of it and then she said the chinese and japanese projects are very visible. we're well aware of that criticism and we're changing it as rapidly as this attenuated budgetary process, because we're so aware of the issue you've raised. >> we'll take one more from the floor. this lady over here next to the wall. >> my name is lisa shirk, i'm just back from kabul, where i'm part of a canadian-head effort to support a public civil society peace process. >> what is the name of your -- you're an ngo.
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>> 3d security initiative based here in washington. >> 3d security. >> i hope you have that on your -- >> i would love to talk to your ngo person afterwards. >> i met with a range of religious, ethnic and ngo leaders, civil society leaders in kabul, and a lot of them mentioned that they supported the too many surge, they liked the development surge, but they would like to see a much more vigorous, rigorous diplomatic surge. what would that look like, a diplomacy surge in afghanistan? >> i'm not sure if you're talking about international diplomacy or local? >> regional and within afghanistan. >> well, worry doing that. i'll be in united arab emirates on monday and tuesday, meeting with 28 of my counterparts, as i said earlier. last year, i was in russia, i was in china twice, i was in the gulf three times, the european s every, you know, all the time.
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this is just trips of mine. we have ongoing detailed bilateral relationships with bilateral relationships with turkey, uae, president obama raise this with hu ching tao on his trip. we now meet regularly with the embassies here that are involved. one of my two deputies, dan feldman, runs that effort. i'm sure many of you in this room know dan feldman well and the egyptians, we've had long bilaterals with the egyptians, both in cairo and here, so there is an advanced effort. you say diplomatic, and i want to clarify the word here. there are two different things going on. there's coordination of assistance, and there's dmoam single payer. -- diplomacy.
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the coordination of assistance is it where we started. diplomacy requires establishing a common base point in terms of strategic objectives, and then in terms of action, and it's very complicated, because while everybody wants strategic stability, each country has its own point of view, vis-a-vis its neighbors, so what is good for country x may be not -- a country next door. two countries that both want stability in afghanistan may have their own relationship problems, and all of you can figure out examples of that. so we're very engaged in that, and i would say, in regard to canada, particularly, what an extraordinary contribution canada has made in afghanistan, we work with them constantly and closely, and i look forward to going to ottawa in the near future as well.
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to wrap up, richard, if it's ok, maybe we could circle back to the beginning of the conversation. you offered mike@@@@@@g @ @ @ @r [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> they will do this several times but what the president makes his decision in september. >> i made a terrible mistake when i was doing something similar to this before the center for american progress last summer. i said this in the course of a long answer, they will no success when you see this. one of the people in the room, said i had just compared afghanistan to pornography.
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i called hillary clinton and i said, i made this terrible mistake. know, i made this terrible mistake, and i told her and she laughed, that beautiful laugh of hers, which you know so well and she said never do irony in washington. so -- >> or new age. >> that's for you. you're nuanced. i'm ironic. but not here and not today. there was this big benchmark study, which i think bruce made some inputs into, it was headed by the director of national intelligence, admiral blair, the nsc oversaw it, our office had substantial input and we have laid outcry tier i can't, on security, on governance and subnational governance, the nature of the taliban threat, province by province. we are going -- we are required
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by laugh to report to the congress on a periodic basis on this. this is all publicly available. there's no real classification on this, and this was not a criticism of mike o'hanlan's efforts. they influenced my thinking greatly, since he started the effort on iraq alone, and then switched afghanistan and now you've included pakistan, haven't you? you started to include pakistan. so the criteria themselves are very detailed, and there are gradations from green to red and everything in between. and you're welcome to lock at them. -- look at them. the american public will decide for it's of self how we're doing and express its views through the congress. and anyone who has had experience with this particular
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exercise knows that what the criteria show and what the public feels is going on, are not always identical. because of p of a key intermedi. and that's just the way it is. and when i hear trudy's questions, even though i can't accept all your premises, i take is very seriously, because you're a terrific reporter, but we have a long set of bench marks, and you're welcome to access them. i think they're on the state department web site. if not, just check on google and you'll be able to find something. >> well, we hope, richard, that we'll have you back at some point down the road and we can pick up on this conversation, and thanking you, and releasing you to get back to your important work, i would just pick up on something our friend from canada said she expressed the hope that there would be a
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vigorous diplomatic surge. i would suggest that any enterprise that this guy is involved in, so qualifies. and we wish you all kind of luck with it. so please join me in thanking ambassador hol holbrooke. >> thank you. [applause] snod [inaudible conversations] >> on c-span, the center for american progress releases a study on the effect of
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immigration on the economy. then barack obama and janet napolitano comment on the intelligence failures leading up to the attempted bombing of northwest airlines flight 253. this is followed by "washington journal." and then the institute of peace looks at the elections in afghanistan. >> on today's washington journal, the republican national committee chairman and a look at the latest unemployment figures with business reporter marilyn geewax. and we will discuss counter- terrorism with juan zarate. >> american icons. three of original documentaries from c-span. a journey through the iconic comes of the three branches of
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american government. see the details of the supreme court and go beyond the public tours of the white house. and explore the architecture of the capital. a three-disc dvd said. this is one of the many items available at >> the center for american progress posted a report that legalizing undocumented immigrants would reduce unemployment and the economy. the authors discuss their findings with the american immigration council. this is one hour. >> thank you very much. it is a pleasure to be here with the center for american progress. i think that what is startling,
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is that we have to have a major report on the economic benefits of immigration. it is one thing that should have been learned by now. this is one of the strongest elements of the united states with the consistent economic growth and the ability to attract the most talented workers from around the world. rowth habits ability to attract the most talented workers from around the world. and the real issue is to restart the system so we can make an economic powerhouse for emigration to bring this to the maximum capacity. maximum capacity. and that means basically moving towards a legal is moving away from a current system where we bring in workers, where we know they will not have a full economic participation in the society. moving towards one where they can become maximumal contributors. i think that's the fundamental message of the, of the report. and i think that there can be
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broad agreements on, on that. i'm simply going to make a couple of points about this. i really think that the issue, especially as we're in an economic challenging moment, as we're trying to come out of one of the deepest recessions that the united states has experienced, is that we've seen that economic impacts of legalization and of a legal future flows, is an economic necessity for building a strong economic recovery. and essentially why we say this is that we're building on historical experiences. we essentially will present results in this study, that looked at the historical record of what our, what have previous legalizations done for the u.s. economy. and then project out into the future, not only those immediate benefits of legalization, but moving towards a legal regime for future flows of immigration.
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and the bottom line is, as we, and this is in a sense, startling the number 1.5 trillion, is a relatively obviously in washington terms now, almost unnecessary discussion to have on these types of numbers. but this is really economic analysis that is not only supported about i my research here, with a team i've worked with in california. but i'm very glad to know that the cato institute is supporting research from australia, top economists in australia, we came in completely independent methodologists, have come to the same conclusions. and especially when it's such a significant number and such an important impact potentially for the entire economy going forward. number one, legalization therefore produces produces immediate economic impact. based on what we've known in
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previous legalizations. the reason is that legalization empowers workers immediately to become much more committed and integrated into the economy. immigrants are in a sense, a, a hidden or an undocumented immigrants in particular are a hidden economic engine that we keep, we have kept repressed in this country to the extent, like we saw 20 years ago with legalization, that we allowed them to join the economic mainstream. we see an immediate impact in terms of wages and productivity that they are able to contribute to the economy. i'll show you some graphs in a minute. in addition to that, the, what we've seen is that future flows and the legalized population into the future creates a potential for much more sustained levels of higher wage employment and higher productivity over time. in addition to that, we do do
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the scenario where we look at the alternative that's been discussed here in washington, which is more enforcement as the strategy, moving forwards, greatser degrees of deportation, we're moving to high numbers of deportation. what we're seeing is that this actually reproduce as vicious cycle in the economy. it creates a greater wage repression in particularly the low-wage labor market as it pushes more workers into fear and into what we've seen, the actual results of which is actually decreasing real wages and repressed economic activity in those sectors where these deportations have focused on. if we take this to a, its full conclusion, it's a catastrophe. the movement towards full
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deportations in this country produces close to $2.6 trillion in economic decline. literally, not, in a sense, really accelerate the movement towards, towards recession and depression. like we saw by the way in the 1930s, during the mass deportations that were part of the contribution of leading us further down into depression from '29 to '32. i'm going to make the point that our current dynamic of policy focusing only on basically an enforcement-first strategy, is consistently resulting in less and less efficient results for both reducing immigration as well as efficiently using tax dollars. this is just the full information is in the report.
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over time, we've been seeing a really skyrocketing expenditures in particularly i.c.e. and border patrol apprehensions even before the economic downturn. the result is that costs for apprehensions are really skyrocketing. any agency that delivers these type of numbers in terms of what its effectiveness is, we've gone from almost 15 times growth in terms of the costs per arrest. we're not becoming more efficient, we're, this is a, this actually is the only thing that what we've been able to see in recent studies confirmed this. the federal reserve board of atlanta for example, makes the case that, that this type of, of policies over the last 20 years,
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what it's actually done is repressed the wage growth in many sectors, that increasingly turn towards undocumented workers, and it actually encourages much other sectors to have to compete with, with lower wages by moving towards undocumented populations. so we call this the vicious cycle of the current strategy. it's broken, we have to change, we have to move forward. and what, what we then look back and historically look, asking the question, well what are our options? what happens during the last immigration reform of 1986? and what we see, we basically start with research ha was done by the u.s. department of labor, initiated by george bush i, and what we see from these results are quite twrinteresting. not really a central part of the discussion, which they should be.
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ir the last major growth in unemployment before the current recession. but during that time, what we saw is that the wages increased. the wages for the workers who had been here since at least before 1982, that would be the condition for legalization, with the wages that have been flat, during the economic downturn. this was down by 20%. when men sought a greater increase in wages after legalization. this happened throughout the united states. this is a place like southwestern texas, where they see the real wages dropping before the legalization. this is it a really dramatic increase, and this is tearing at time of economic downturn.
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what we then look for, is that over time, the earnings were helping the native workers as well as the undocumented workers. l as helping the undocumented. this is very significant again, this is survey results that would, have been well documented and well studied over the last 20 years. the other interesting feature that happens right after legalization, is actually a major dropoff in undocumented migration. and apprehensions across the border. we've spent billions of dollars trying to achieve these types of numbers. these numbers were achieved with the republican president, and a bipartisan support in congress, bypassing legalization. we saw dramatic downturns right after legalization of obviously the flow of the undocumented that sustained themselves up until about '94, when there was the beginning of an economic
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recovery. the problem with irca is we did not have provisions for adequate future legal flows into the economy. so this is what we started as a baseline, and this is more data over the long-term that we see really important impacts of, of legalization over the 20 years. i don't have real-time to go over it now. but if you are interested, the information is available from on this report, and from the nate center. what we did do is take three scenarios. one is of course this acceleration towards further deportationings and to its maximum implications of mass deportations. the second is we look at creating a program whereby future flows are brought in. but they're necessarily capped on a temporary basis. and we contrast both of these scenarios to essentially a flow,
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both of legalization today, as well as future flow of immigration based on needs of the economy going forward. and essentially creating the ability for some workers to come in temporarily, so they chose. and other workers to come in on a more permanent basis, if they choose. as my economists, professors at the university of chicago used to say, freedom to choose is an extremely powerful incentive for the way in which market economy should be organized. and in this particular instance, i think that this research really supports that type of thinking with respect to immigration. with respect to immigration. we need to have an ability to bring in future workers in a condition that they can make commitments that make strategic sense for their families and can therefore make the best contributions possible for the economy of of the united states. what is the results of these scenarios? this is the numbers that angie
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was talking about. these $1.5 trillion over ten years of what we call comprehensive immigration reform, in comparison particularly to a major drop-off of over $2.6 trillion that would result from a major restrictive deportation scenario. it's interesting, again -- i don't really want to stress that much this difference with the temporary program, but if we don't have -- temporary immigration is good for the economy, absolutely, but we think and our study indicates that it would be much -- we would be much better served by having a more flexible system whereby if some workers can't come in and incorporate themselves fully and legally into the economy, that is absolutely the best scenario in terms of their ability to have wage growth and contribute productivity to the economy.
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over time, this is essentially what we've done here is taken the results of what's called a computered generated equilibrium model, people have come to similar types of numbers, and we use the congressional budget office projections of the economy over the next ten years as a baseline by which then we look at the particular results generated by our analysis. and we see that this is over various sectors of the economy. in all sectors of the economy, moving towards further restrictive immigration and deportations would be catastrophic in all cases we see a dramatic benefit towards moving towards a comprehensive immigration reform that essentially allows workers to
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commit to the economy, to their own education, to their own ability to contribute max i m i mali, this has much higher wage growth through the process of legalization. the movement from an undocumented status to a legal stat you us not only increases their ability to earn but what's very interesting is that what we've seen from the surveys immediately after erca and 20 years on is a really commitment to invest in their own future in this country, both in terms of education, in terms of job skills, as well as generates very strong productivity growth in the jobs and sectors that they aparticipate in, but over time also generating savings, investment in the banking sector of the economy and in the real estate sectors of the economy and small business growth which then has multiplier effects.
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all of these future multiplier effects from legalization are not even covered in these results. these are results basically based on simply a former of legalization and inability to bring in future flows on a legal basis. so i think i'm going to leave it at that and be very eager to talk to my colleagues on the podium and members of the press as soon as possible. thank you. >> can you give us some comments and reactions, please? >> thank you, angie. and i want to thank the center for american progress and immigration policy center for holding this event. i want to thank the doctor for authoring a very useful study. i think all of my liberal and democratic friends should read this study and take on board its conclusions. the conclusions are very stark,
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that restrictions on immigration impose real costs on american households and the u.s. economy beyond the tax dollars that are spent to crack down on immigration and deport illegal workers and that it deportation raises the incomes in households. this is about jobs and income and opportunity. i think the first half of the paper is very useful as well. it's a survey of the literature reviewing what's been spent on immigration enforcement over the last 20 years and it's a tremendous amount. as the study shows, we've gotten very little results from it. a policy of enforcement only is a policy of failure. it has proven to be that. we need legalization, comprehensive immigration reform. i also think it is remarkable that the bottom-line conclusion, while this was a different computerable general model than the cato institute used for a
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study we published last year, the bottom-line headline number was remarkably similar, according to the center for american progress study, the u.s. economy is $189 billion better off after ten years. our conclusion at cato was that u.s. households would be $180 billion better off. in some ways the cato number is larger because ours is talking about u.s. households, not the overall economy but u.s. house holds. i'm also heartened to see there was a section in the study with the headline effective immigration reform must address future flows. i wish i could have every member of congress chant that over ten times each morning before they tackle immigration reform. you know, if we just legalize the 11 million who are here illegally and crack down on enforcement, tough youen
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enforcement, we're just doing 1986 all over again. that's what the immigration reform and control act was about. the missing leg of the stool, as secretary napolitano put it, right here last month is to make a provision for future flow. some kind of temporary worker program, guest worker program, that is absolutely essential. if that's not part of comprehensive immigration reform, it's not worth doing. we're just setting ourselves up for failure. i just want to point out that cato did come out with a stud yes. i have a few copies here if anybody wants it. again, the results were remarkably similar. the cato study is based on the model that is actually used by the u.s. international trade commission and the homeland security department to analyze trade and immigration issues. and we found that u.s. households, not the immigrants who are legalized but u.s. households would see their incomes rise by 1.19%, which
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comes to over $180 billion. we also found that the cost of reducing illegal immigration through increased enforcement was about $80 billion a year. you you put those two together, and the difference between getting it wrong and getting it right is about $250 trillion a year. that's real money even today in washington. so the stakes are high. we found the biggest benefit is something called the occupation mix effect. i think this should get the attention of every politician in washington. when you allow more low-skilled work hers to come into the united states legally it allows american workers to shift up the skill ladder. creates relatively more opportunities higher up the skill ladder as managers, accountants, salespeople. and over time this leads to higher productivity and higher income for americans. it increases investment, which is good for the economy but also
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creates more revenue for the government. it allows us you to take money that is now wasted on smugglers' fees for illegal immigrants to come into the united states to lead to real consumption here in the united states. and again higher tax revenues for the government. i wouldn't be doing my job if i didn't nitpick a little bit. they don't detract over the all study. the term full labor rights is used without really will defining it. i wonder if that isn't a code word for more unionization, which i don't think really this is what about. the great benefit of legalization is that immigrants can enjoy the full labor rights that are available to all american workers right now. it also uses the term flexible legal limits which i think needs to be defined. but none of that should take away from i think the bottom-line headline finding of this study, that is, you have two very different organizations coming to very similar
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conclusions, and that is enforcement only is a policy that has not only failed but has imposed significant costs on americans as taxpayers and in our economy. if congress and the president want to create better jobs and stimulate the economy, then comprehensive immigration reform, including a temporary worker program, should be very high on their agenda. thank you very much. >> thank you, dan. heather, your thoughts? >> yeah. thank you. well, this is a great panel to be on. both of these papers actually were with really quite interesting. so as we've already gone over here a couple of times today, the basic finding of the doctor's paper is that grapting legal status to the millions unauthorized immigrants in this united states would have a positive effect on the wages of immigrant workers and the wageses of u.s. workers overall as well as having a positive effect on u.s. economic growth
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and the u.s. economy. so there's a couple of things i want to underscore. one is that this is not just a hypothetical model made up by some economist in his basement with his data. this is a model that is based on prior experience. it's baesed on what happened when we did something similar to this in the late 1980s. so this is fact based. and you don't even need to -- if you you have questions or concerns about these numbers, you you can look to the fantastic literature review in this paper that talks about what happened in the late 1980s after the immigration reform and control act granted legal status to unauthorized immigrant workers and that we did see that wages rose and this was good for the economy. so i think that, if nothing else, is one of the most important messages from this paper, along with the new research that's based on that prior experience. now, i want to just break down the economic logic here for you. because it may i think one of of the things if you just sort of
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read this and said, wow, how is this is good for those workers, everyone else, and the economy. let me break this down. everyone can understand that if you do not have legal rights at work, those workers without legal rights take jobs that offer lower wages because the employers have all the power. and that is what we see. immigrant workers -- illegal immigrant workers have much lower wages, and basic labor standards that are enforced for other kinds of workers are not enforced in those kinds of jobs. this is what we see today. if you were going to give them legal rights, this would increase the wages for the jobs at the bottom, and the day laborers would see an increase
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in wages. how does this feed through into something positive for the other workers in the economy? rkers in the economy? well, in our economy right now today, about 70% of the economy is driven by consumption will. that means it's driven by the money that you and i and everybody else spends. so if you take a small but not insignificant chunk of workers and you give them a raise and you give them better working conditions, then those folks will have more money to spend, as the prior research says, they invest more in their communities but they also are going to increase their spending on basic goods like food, housing, education. that's going to have a positive effect for the economy overall. it' going to boost economic demand especially in low-income communities, and a positive reverberating effect throughout our economy. that's exactly what the papers measure, the positive reverberating effect from paying these workers the wages that
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other workers receive. but, second, there's also a productivity gain. you have a lot of workers here in this country who, because they do not have the right to work, are in yob jobs far below their skill level. you have nurses coming from other countries who can't get jobs in hospitals because they don't have the right papers so they're working in house cleaning or you have engineers who are workers with highly developed construction skills working as day laborers because they don't have the right authorization. that is a net loss because those worker skills are not being fully utilized and that pulls down productivity. so, as my colleagues up here have already sort of spoken to, i think the way forward is fraenkly very simple. as this research shows, comprehensive immigration reform that legalizes currently unauthorized immigrants and creates flexible legal limits on future immigration in the context of ensuring that every worker has basic labor rights
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would help both american workers and the u.s. economy overall. this policy will boost the wagesor for those that are made the least among us and would have a net positive effect on our economy. >> thank you very much, heather. final thoughts? >> sure. so let me step back a little bit and talk about this report in the context of the immigration debate at large. i think there are two important things about this report. one with certainly that it shines a spotlight on the potential for a very large input in our economy at a time when we need it. even in washington, d.c., $1.5 trillion is a lot of money. but the report also i think has a very important reminder of where the focus of an immigration reform effort ought to be, and that is about how do we provide benefits to the american economy and to the american workers? this immigration reform effort needs to be about creating an american system of immigration,
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that we collectively decide and hopefully legislators will get to the business of examining, what is in the best interest of american workers and the american economy? so, you you know, i think that is where with the debate needs to be. it is about improving rights and opportunities for all workers. it is about achieving economic growth for the economy as a whole. immigration has always been a powerful tool for our economy. i mean, we have created i think as the doctor alluded to, one of the most flexible, dynamic labor forces the world has ever seen. look how we moved from an agrayerian, industrial to sort of information age economy. we've done that faster and more efficiently than any other country in the world. in large part because of this flexible labor force. and immigration has played a significant role in. i think we need to be purposeful and intelligent about how we continue the benefits that historically we have reaped from immigration here in the united states. so, again, immigration reform
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has to be about creating an american immigration system. the stakes are high, but the reword wards i think are significant. but to reap the rewards we've got to move beyond this simplistic short-handed nal success that we have dominated the public debate about immigration thus far. we have over the last really ten years seen a proliferation of reports and rhetoric that purport to assess the costs of immigration in the united states. most of those reports by their own admission take a very shortsided snapshot view of what immigration means in the united states. they ignore these larger issues of productivity. they don't think of immigrants as producers and consumers in our economy. they ignore issues of entrepreneurship, issues of job creation, sort of play fast and loose with this issue of how to treat their children, which all of our children are initially
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very costly, but the investments that we make in our children are investments that pay off in huge ways moving forward. so, again, you have to take i think the longer view on these issues rather than the simplistic snapshots. you also can't simplify this issue of unemployment that we're facing today. you know, workers in our economy are not simply cogs in some sort of giant machine. you know, they are not interchangeable in that kind of way. they have very different skillsets. they live in different regions. they are different ages and have different levels of experience and different places in their careers. you y so the problems that an unemployed worker in detroit, whether it's a welder or autoworker, the problem that unemployed worker faces can't be resolved by removing an immigrant laborer in central
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california who's engaejed in agricultural work or is a landscaper. just those kinds of things don't mix. we have a complicated series problem when it comes to unemployment but we need to be serious about addressing those things. confusing the issue of p immigration in a simplistic way is not only a distortion of reality but i think a distraction from the real challenges that we face in terms of those issues. you know, and a final point on this issue because it came up in the context of some responses to this it report in particular, you you you know, this notion that, you know, we're just talking about people who are -- who have low levels of education, we're talking about the undocumenteded population and their arrival here has somehow dragged our economy down. the fact of the matter is, over the last 30 years, the share of our work force that has less than a high school diploma has gone down every year. we should be proud of the fact that we have a domestic labor force that is better educated.
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but we can't ignore the economic implications of that. we can't ignore the fact that we are an economy that is driven a lot by consumerism. that means a lot of service jobs that don't require a lot of education and training. so, i mean, i think it's important to go into this reform effort with our eyes open and a willingness hopefully on the part of our legislators to get past the process of how to jockey for a better position in their particular elections and get to the business of confronting difficult issues that are complex but deserve real leadership and a broader view. >> thank you very much. we'll now move to the question and answer period of the program. let me start with the gentleman in the front. if you wouldn't mind please identifying yourself. >> jose lopez of the mexican news agency. i'd like to ask the professor, given the concern of unemployment in the u.s. right
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now with 15 million americans without jobs i'm wondering if your with analysis has studied how will the formal legalization of millions of undocumented workers play in the overall employment picture in the u.s. and to the panel, given this circumstance and also the political problems that democrats seem to be facing in november, to what extent do you think this circumstances will play a role in president obama's decision whether or not to spend political capital on immigration reform in 2010? >> well, i completely agree with ben. i think that the real danger at this point is that we basically get it wrong in terms of the relationship between with immigration reform and unemployment. i think two things that are really significant from the way we did this study because we did go back and specifically look at that question about, what happens legalization under a context of economic stress. and again i make the point, look at what happened under erca.
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unemployment was growing in this country. it grew by over 50% during that period of time. not because of illegalization but because of another real estate crisis that we had during the 1980s and savings and loans crisis primarily driving the macroeconomy. what legalization did is create a stimulus for economic recovery. it immediately, as heather was pointing out, in terms of the consumption and i like this positive reverberating effect notion, that that has, which is exactly by the way what the doctor will will order at this moment of slack, economy is the ability for people to be more confident and want to spend and really commit themselves more to the economy. that's exactly the type of shot in the arm that legalization would have. second is this very important impact in terms of a long-term productivity that begins now. this effect that we had in the
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1980s of immigrants turning towards their own education, their own ged, english language, paying for their own skill, it grew by 200% of their own resourc resources, not the government resources, paid off immediately and much omore over the long term. so i think that we have to confront the know-nothings that are going to try to stick their head in the sand and make a simplistic relationship between imand unemployment. this is exactly what we have to 0 be doing at this moment where we're beginning to see some types of signs of life in an economy which i think we may see even a more positive recovery in terms of the impact of legalization that it could have at this stage as it probably would happen about a year from now, when unemployment is going to start going down at a faster pace. so the political issue i'll let
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other people address. >> first i want to offer a comment on immigration and unblowment. it does make it politically more difficult when you have a 10% unemployment rate. there is no correlation over time in increased immigration and increased unemployment. immigration is a sa safety valve for the labor market. if there aren't jobs, the immigrants don't come or they go home. that's why you've seen the number of imgranlts decline over the last couple of years. i think now is a perfectly fine time to institute comprehensive immigration reform. one of the findings of our study at cato is that as you move up the skill ladder, the structural unemployment rate tends to decline. so if you get this occupation mix effect with more low-skilled imgranlts coming into the country, the actual structural unemployment rate of native-born american workers will decline. a word about the politics, i think this is an opportunity for the democrats on their watch to
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fix this problem that has been vexing americans for decades. that is what to do about illegal immigration. through comprehensive immigration reform, through the three-legged stool of more effective enforcement, legalization of those who are here, and a temporary worker program to provide for future flows, i think the democratic party, president obama working with republicans, and there are republicans who will work positively on this issue, can fix this problem. they just have to do it right. the challenge to democrats i think is to hold off, let's be frank. labor unions tend to be hostile to government worker programs. republicans have their problem where they're nativist conservative wing i. think this is a call for leadership and bipartisanship. it can be done. whether it will be remains to be seen. >> heather? >> couple of comments on the data on unemployment. first, you are seeing folks simply going back to home
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countries at this point because there are no jobs here. so there's that issue. but then second, the unemployment rate does include nonlegal workers. it's a household survey. there's an undercounting, but those workers are already included in the data. there's no reason to think that legalization would somehow effect the unemployment rate from one day to the next. if anything, it would likely lower it because you have hundreds of thousands of -- i don't know exactly how many people, but somewhere in the tens thousands of work hes who because they are unemployed and unauthorized to work are looking at a much smaller job market than other workers. they may be out of work for more time than workers who work for any job. these are some of the jobs that were hit hard by the recession, particularly in construction. >> this is really the confluence on the political argument. the policy argument is very clear, that this is an economic winner.
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we gain 1.5 trillion dollars if we legalize the population. the political argument is that this is the pothole, when congress is driving, they keep getting this bus every single time. this comes up with every economic effort that the congress makes. and this is completely short- sighted not to lean into the issue because we have an expanding group of hispanic voters that will be looking at this issue very carefully and what happens or what does not happen to this. we can do a check mark in terms of helping the economy, and frankly, these people were elected to solve problems. if they go back to the voters -- and they want the issue taken off the table, many people will stay home. this is not the outcome any politicians are wanting.
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i>> i am with the hispanic link news service and welcome to washington. i hope that you are enjoying the weather. two questions. generally, what do you see as the role of unions and what is your assessment on what would work. and when you talk about guest workers, you are talking about some of those programs in the past. what should be the role of the unions in your mind. what should be the role of unions in your mind? and, secondly, for anybody, what about what you you just mentioned, angela, the definite
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divide between democrats and republicans and all the other issues that have come up you so far, do you you you see any change in that immigration issue? thank you. >> okay. short answers. i know a lot of people have questions. >> good to see you you, charlie. actually, i don't see this dichotomy between unions and guest workers as the fundamental thing of what i'm talking about in this paper. actually, in fact, i -- one with of the boast experiences we've ever had from legalization is spanish immigration to europe when they opened -- created much more flexible legal system. many workers decided to do it temporarily. i think that's part of the reality of what we should try to encourage, that type of condition. i'm just -- i just think it's not a good idea as a matter of policy to recreate a separate class of workers that can only
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be brought in under a definite period of time and will not be able to be potentially fully contributing to the u.s. economy. i don't think that's necessarily an issue of being prounion in any particular way. i mean, i think the issue is more, we want to create a condition i think in this type of flexibility in the labor market where we want to encourage people to have their own strategic decisions and their families to make good for themselves. in that sense, that should be the basis by which we allow for immigration to be really maintained and structured over time rather than imposing a very select i think set of time lines and rights to those workers. that's just because i've seen it work a lot better in alternative ways. and i've seen some temporary programs not work as well. >> if i could just follow up on that one. have you seen any possibility or
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hope for unionization of guest worker programs in some way where unions could play a role in dealing with those who come here temporarily? >> not really the subject. >> it's not really -- i mean, that was tried in the '40s, one of the things that didn't work. so i don't think that's probably what's going to drive the debate at this point. >> any comments on bipartisanship? ben johnson. >> again, i think to your with point, angie, this is about electing leaders, you know. hopefully neither party has a monopoly on that issue. i think there are republicans who understand the importance of. this you know, there are divides. i think everybody recognizes that in washington here today. but i think there is room, plenty of room, quite frankly, for bipartisanship on this issue. if you get past the sound bites, to issues of i think as raul says, the point of the temporary
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potential conflict on the temporary issue is whether we let folks provide them an opportunity to set down roots, which i think is important. and i think if we again get beyond sound bites there's plenty of room for bipartis bipartisanship on this issue. >> all right. >> lewis here at the center. heather, you did a really nice job of explaining how comprehensive immigration reform helps increase the wages well-being of those who gain status and are able to il prove themselves, invest in themselves. but the report also says one of the impact is it would raise the wages of native workers and indeed raise wages for high-skilled workers. could you illuminate why that is so? >> yes, although i would want to give the awe you thor a chanuthk
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about that as well. raul, do you want to take that first? i would feel more comfortable. >> yeah. well, there's a couple of way s in which that occurs, which i think is in interesting point exactly what dan spoke about. a lot of the immigration that is brought into this country is actually very complementary to the higher skilled structure of the u.s. economy in a variety of ways, knowledge in terms of the ability to create an expansion of thosectors that allow complementary skill -- higher skilled workers to interact with them in the productive process as well as in the consumption process. bottom line is, you know, l.a. has some of the best restaurants and great cities in the united states have them, in part because of the ability to bring in a particular type of worker that provide those types of services. and in that sense, most high-skilled workers are also
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strong consumers of products and services produced by immigrants that actually have a very positive effect in terms of their real incomes in societies. and it's actually quite interesting that in many districts we've actually looked into this where there's opposition to immigration are some of those types of work hes that actually benefits very strongly from the presence of immigration and that, in effect, would be hurting themselves. i think that we've really created a disconnect between the ways in which immigration really helps a wide variety of workers and i really again want to say i'm very pleased that this work that cato and peter dixon from australia did actually come at very different approaches but really with the same type of structural conditions and results that we're pointing to
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in our study. >> thank you. >> the gentleman in the back? >> playing a bit of devil's advocate here, in the study, you do you measure possible negative impacts of legalization? i was thinking of the fact that documented workers will have access to unemployment insurance, which they don't now, and maybe health care, you know. the health care reform doesn't cover undocumented workers, but they will cover them if they are documented. then the other issue is, you know, a lot of the anti-immigrant groups say, as you know, that legalization will encourage more entry. i mean, that people will see, okay, just go to the united states and eventually you're going to get your papers so let's go in. and the experience as you mentioned in the '80s was not that. i wonder if you could elaborate on that. i mean, what's the outcome
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there? y in that kind of scenario. >> so question of costs and magnet effect. heather, do you want to start? >> yes. i can take that. fir first, sorry. couldn't read my own handwriting. first on the question of benefits and health care. i think that that is -- communities pay for that regardless. so we're only looking at one tiny slice of the puzzle when you think that just because somebody doesn't have health care, can't get medicaid, that communities aren't paying for that. it may not be coming through the federal system, but it's coming through either more people becoming sicker and sicker and using emergency rooms or using other public health facilities or getting sick and because they don't have basic labor standards showing up to work sick. we no that many of these unauthorized workers work in the food service industry. most of them don't have the right to paid sick days. they show up sick and it lowers
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productivity for everyone because it makes other people sick. we're paying for it regardless. it's just who's paying for it and how are we structuring it? are we making the communities that have the most problems deal with it, or are we sort of aggregating this across a wider range of people through doing it through through making noe ing folks le? on the question of increased entry, my understanding of the literature is people migrate when there are job opportunities available. that part of the reason that we saw such large migration into the united states during the '90s and some parts of the early -- mostly through the 1990s was because of the increase in job opportunities especially at the low end of the labor market and because of the rising wages. people come when there are job opportunities available. if this research is valid and turns out to be true, if we were to do comprehensive immigration reform and that led to broader economic growth, i think you would see people say, wow, we can come. but they're coming because there are jobs primarily and people
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are coming regardless of whether or not they can become legal or not. that's a very good devil's advocate question, but it doesn't necessarily vijive with the facts. >> the cato study looked at six different channels through which low-skilled immigration effects the u.s. economy. one of them is public expended turs. we found if more low-skilled imgrapts come into the united states there is an increase in public expenditures. it's just the nature of our system. low-skilled workers tend to more into government benefits and pay less in taxes. the key finding is that is overwhelmed by the positive impact of the economy through the other channels i talked about, americans being able to move up to more productive, better paying jobs, more investment in the u.s. economy, lower structural unemployment. the other point you made about just encouraging more illegal immigration, i think that is a
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danger of following the 1986 path of just legalizing those who are here but making no provision, no accommodation, for future workers to enter. that is going to send the signal that if you come here and stay long enough illegally eventually you'll be legalized. the beauty of a temporary worker program, accommodating future labor needs, is that you create a legal channel, a legal alternative, for these workers to come into the united states. somebody mentioned the brasaro program earlier. i think there's a positive and le negative lesson there. the negative lesson is, we shouldn't tylo-skilled workers to a specific employer. that's where the abuse comes in. i think the best worker right you can give is mobility. if you don't like the conditions and the wages, you have the freedom to move to another job across the street or across the country. that's what we need to do right at this time. we don't need a whole raft of new labor laws. just give them legal papers and
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mobility. the positive lesson from the brasaro program is that in the 1950s we were apprehending 1 million people a year at the border. congress did two things. they increased enforcement but they also dramatically increased the number of visas. and what happened to apprehensions at the border? they dropped 95%. the lesson is, if you give a legal alternative, illegal immigration will drop significantly. so if you're concerned about illegal immigration, the best thing we can do is create a legal alternative through a temporary worker program. >> do you have any more comments, doctor? >> i just want to make -- i completely agree with him on this issue of the cost. the overwhelming -- that's what most studies don't do, look at the secondary positive economic effects and look at the fiscal impact of those positive secondary effects compared to the short-term costs that would be associated with that.
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second, what's interesting about the right -- right after legalization is that it actually does decrease the demand for undocumented crossings. the legal options, i completely agree, create a reduction in terms of >> what we know that immigration is that this is driven by demand. this is not full of people who would already want to be here right now. this is not that the borders are broken and there is nothing keeping people out. this is a matter of the social dimensions of our labour market is working in the united states. if we raise the floor, that is the concept. if we raise this this will do positive things for the economy. it is not a good news -- a good use for these immigrant sending countries. this will not solve the problem. we need tohi

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